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Thread started 05/01/17 9:03am

rdhull

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was Paisley Park too much of a burden?

On the famed New Years Eve 87 boot where Miles Davis is a guest star, Prince states at the beginning the ups and downs fiscally of the Park/Label. Seems like even THEN it was something to be reckoned with. I wonder how many tours and albums as one offs were completed just to keep that place running. And what his music and such would have been like sans having the Park as something that needed continual attention to keep it afloat.

There is something to be said (yeah? what?) about travelling to other studios and the ambiance of the city that studio is n, making do with what's available and not. Having everything there at your whim, like PP, did it influence the music? Anyone ever work from home for a spell? Theres a difference in your work practive when you have all day, in your own home, draws, hair uncombed etc.

Was PP an albatross around his neck or was it a blessing? both?

What would we do without all these jerks anyway? Besides, all our friends are here.
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Reply #1 posted 05/01/17 9:09am

1Sasha

I think it simply cost so much money to maintain - money that wasn't rolling in the past 12 years or so after Musicology - that he may have decided to let some things slide in terms of building maintenance. We know that he operated the complex with a very small staff, and had eliminated security by 2016. He owned real estate other than PP which he kept, rather than selling to be able to pay to maintain PP at the highest level. Part of me thinks he just didn't care anymore.

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Reply #2 posted 05/01/17 9:10am

laytonian

.
It had just opened and with the building of the Galpin home at the same time, I'm sure it was a heavy weight.
But if he hadn't loved it, he would have demolished it like the two homes.
.
It's like when you buy your first home and the mortgage seems so huge and scary.
.
We had fun, didn't we?
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Reply #3 posted 05/01/17 9:11am

HerecomethePur
pleYoda

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It IS a blessing!

+ if not, there wouldn't b a place 4 parties, celebrations, museum, etc.

So count ur blessings.

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Reply #4 posted 05/01/17 9:13am

rdhull

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1Sasha said:

I think it simply cost so much money to maintain - money that wasn't rolling in the past 12 years or so after Musicology - that he may have decided to let some things slide in terms of building maintenance. We know that he operated the complex with a very small staff, and had eliminated security by 2016. He owned real estate other than PP which he kept, rather than selling to be able to pay to maintain PP at the highest level. Part of me thinks he just didn't care anymore.

But did it effect the music. Did he make the mainstream, basic, too accessible Diamonds n Pearls album because he need a hit and money just to keep PP afloat etc?

I mean without that behemoth complex, he was relatively a free man (in Paris..and more ). No ties to have to do something and be somewhere to have it running.

Would he created some thkngs that were not for mass appeal? Like Beautiful Strange type of sounds?

.

[Edited 5/1/17 9:14am]

What would we do without all these jerks anyway? Besides, all our friends are here.
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Reply #5 posted 05/01/17 9:22am

Genesia

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I think you're onto somethin

I've worked from home on occasion - and I hate it. I invariably feel like it's an intrusion on my personal life and space. It could be because my place is small enough that I don't have a dedicated office. But if I'm going to work at home, I need to make it as work-like as possible. I get up and do my entire pre-work routine: shower, do my hair, put on make-up. And I make sure that when I get dressed, I put on underwear. Because if you aren't wearing underwear, you aren't really working. (You think I'm kidding, but that is a very real discovery I made when I was forced to work from home during a snowstorm this winter.)

Now, for someone like Prince - who, even if he wasn't recording 24/7 was at least thinking about music for most of that - maybe it was more freeing than prison-like. But I suspect it was a double-edged sword. Not only could he record anytime he wanted, he probably felt that he should be recording all the time - because he could. Because he needed to take full advantage of the facility. Because that is what he did. Because he needed to make it pay. Because "I am music." Pick your reason.

I think this was probably amplified when Paisley was no longer a commercial facility in the sense that others were recording there. When did that happen, anyway? When did Prince close Paisley (as a recording facility) to anyone other than himself/his protegées?

It had to have affected the music. As you say, RD, there's a lot to be said for recording (or writing) in a place that is "out of your element." Exactly how that would have manifested is hard to know - because we would need something else to compare his recent output to. Paisley Park music as the "control" - and something recorded elsewhere as the "test."

What would the last such album be? Lotusflow3r? Was that mostly recorded in LA? 3121? Both of those were pretty great...

(Edited to fix an rd-like typo. lol )

[Edited 5/1/17 9:24am]

I mean if he did have sex he would break every rule Jehova's have regarding premarital sex so Prince is really just friends with them all anyway.
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Reply #6 posted 05/01/17 9:24am

NorthC

Oh yeah, I often thought about this, how building his own studio influenced the man and his music. All those great 1980s albums were made BEFORE Paisley Park opened. It's one thing to record in your basement studio, but quite another to have a multi million dollar complex with staff and all. It became a business. And that's why Prince made commercial records like Batman and Diamonds & Pearls. He needed the money if he wanted to keep the place running. And that's why he signed that $ 100,000,000 contract with WB.
Also with your own studio, it's easier to lock yourself up in your own world. And that's why Prince's music didn't really move forward from the late 80s. Being a fantastic musician and having a fantastic studio doesn't automatically lead to great songwriting. You need to get out into the world to find something to write about.
Don't ever lose your dreams.
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Reply #7 posted 05/01/17 9:28am

rogifan

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1Sasha said:

I think it simply cost so much money to maintain - money that wasn't rolling in the past 12 years or so after Musicology - that he may have decided to let some things slide in terms of building maintenance. We know that he operated the complex with a very small staff, and had eliminated security by 2016. He owned real estate other than PP which he kept, rather than selling to be able to pay to maintain PP at the highest level. Part of me thinks he just didn't care anymore.


I'm not following. How did the other real estate he owned pay for PP? How was he making money off that property?
Paisley Park is in your heart
#PrinceForever 💜
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Reply #8 posted 05/01/17 9:30am

paulludvig

Hard to say because we don't know what he kept in the vault from the 90's and onwards. Maybe it affected his choices when it came to releasing music, but not so much what he recorded?
The wooh is on the one!
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Reply #9 posted 05/01/17 9:35am

rogifan

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rdhull said:

On the famed New Years Eve 87 boot where Miles Davis is a guest star, Prince states at the beginning the ups and downs fiscally of the Park/Label. Seems like even THEN it was something to be reckoned with. I wonder how many tours and albums as one offs were completed just to keep that place running. And what his music and such would have been like sans having the Park as something that needed continual attention to keep it afloat.



There is something to be said (yeah? what?) about travelling to other studios and the ambiance of the city that studio is n, making do with what's available and not. Having everything there at your whim, like PP, did it influence the music? Anyone ever work from home for a spell? Theres a difference in your work practive when you have all day, in your own home, draws, hair uncombed etc.




Was PP an albatross around his neck or was it a blessing? both?



I don't know it seemed like to me if Prince was done with something he had no problem completely ridding himself of it (like the house on Galpin). Also he did move to LA for a few years in the mid 2000s so that was a change of scenery for a while. I just get the feeling he liked Minnesota and liked being at Paisley Park. One of his engineers said in an interview that there's no place Prince loved more than Studio A at Paisley Park.
Paisley Park is in your heart
#PrinceForever 💜
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Reply #10 posted 05/01/17 9:38am

rdhull

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Genesia said:



It had to have affected the music. As you say, RD, there's a lot to be said for recording (or writing) in a place that is "out of your element." Exactly how that would have manifested is hard to know - because we would need something else to compare his recent output to. Paisley Park music as the "control" - and something recorded elsewhere as the "test."

What would the last such album be? Lotusflow3r? Was that mostly recorded in LA? 3121? Both of those were pretty great...

(Edited to fix an rd-like typo. lol )

[Edited 5/1/17 9:24am]

And being in your place with ample time to do whatever, gave time to

'sweeten' the songs mahybe. Many complained about his 'over production' elements to some of the music the past 20 years. And rushed ideas are ble to be panned on and changed. Who knws, maybe WDC would have had bass if given enough rope. I mean kept the bass in.

What would we do without all these jerks anyway? Besides, all our friends are here.
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Reply #11 posted 05/01/17 9:39am

rdhull

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rogifan said:

rdhull said:

On the famed New Years Eve 87 boot where Miles Davis is a guest star, Prince states at the beginning the ups and downs fiscally of the Park/Label. Seems like even THEN it was something to be reckoned with. I wonder how many tours and albums as one offs were completed just to keep that place running. And what his music and such would have been like sans having the Park as something that needed continual attention to keep it afloat.

There is something to be said (yeah? what?) about travelling to other studios and the ambiance of the city that studio is n, making do with what's available and not. Having everything there at your whim, like PP, did it influence the music? Anyone ever work from home for a spell? Theres a difference in your work practive when you have all day, in your own home, draws, hair uncombed etc.

Was PP an albatross around his neck or was it a blessing? both?

I don't know it seemed like to me if Prince was done with something he had no problem completely ridding himself of it (like the house on Galpin). Also he did move to LA for a few years in the mid 2000s so that was a change of scenery for a while. I just get the feeling he liked Minnesota and liked being at Paisley Park. One of his engineers said in an interview that there's no place Prince loved more than Studio A at Paisley Park.

Maybe being in a place/studio he didnt exactly 'love' wouldhave made the music more angry, aggressive, or what have you. More spontaneous. Many have complained about the music going..'soft.'

What would we do without all these jerks anyway? Besides, all our friends are here.
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Reply #12 posted 05/01/17 9:40am

Genesia

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rogifan said:

1Sasha said:

I think it simply cost so much money to maintain - money that wasn't rolling in the past 12 years or so after Musicology - that he may have decided to let some things slide in terms of building maintenance. We know that he operated the complex with a very small staff, and had eliminated security by 2016. He owned real estate other than PP which he kept, rather than selling to be able to pay to maintain PP at the highest level. Part of me thinks he just didn't care anymore.

I'm not following. How did the other real estate he owned pay for PP? How was he making money off that property?


It didn't - and he wasn't. Sasha is saying that Prince had a lot of cash tied up in real estate that he could have used for other things (like maintaining Paisley Park).

The thing is, once cash is spent, it's gone. That land continued to have value - so it's possible Prince thought of that as a hedge against the future.

I mean if he did have sex he would break every rule Jehova's have regarding premarital sex so Prince is really just friends with them all anyway.
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Reply #13 posted 05/01/17 9:41am

rdhull

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Genesia said:

rogifan said:

1Sasha said: I'm not following. How did the other real estate he owned pay for PP? How was he making money off that property?


It didn't - and he wasn't. Sasha is saying that Prince had a lot of cash tied up in real estate that he could have used for other things (like maintaining Paisley Park).

The thing is, once cash is spent, it's gone. That land continued to have value - so it's possible Prince thought of that as a hedge against the future.

I'm sure it did.

What would we do without all these jerks anyway? Besides, all our friends are here.
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Reply #14 posted 05/01/17 9:53am

rogifan

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Genesia said:

I think you're onto somethin

I've worked from home on occasion - and I hate it. I invariably feel like it's an intrusion on my personal life and space. It could be because my place is small enough that I don't have a dedicated office. But if I'm going to work at home, I need to make it as work-like as possible. I get up and do my entire pre-work routine: shower, do my hair, put on make-up. And I make sure that when I get dressed, I put on underwear. Because if you aren't wearing underwear, you aren't really working. (You think I'm kidding, but that is a very real discovery I made when I was forced to work from home during a snowstorm this winter.)

Now, for someone like Prince - who, even if he wasn't recording 24/7 was at least thinking about music for most of that - maybe it was more freeing than prison-like. But I suspect it was a double-edged sword. Not only could he record anytime he wanted, he probably felt that he should be recording all the time - because he could. Because he needed to take full advantage of the facility. Because that is what he did. Because he needed to make it pay. Because "I am music." Pick your reason.

I think this was probably amplified when Paisley was no longer a commercial facility in the sense that others were recording there. When did that happen, anyway? When did Prince close Paisley (as a recording facility) to anyone other than himself/his protegées?

It had to have affected the music. As you say, RD, there's a lot to be said for recording (or writing) in a place that is "out of your element." Exactly how that would have manifested is hard to know - because we would need something else to compare his recent output to. Paisley Park music as the "control" - and something recorded elsewhere as the "test."

What would the last such album be? Lotusflow3r? Was that mostly recorded in LA? 3121? Both of those were pretty great...

(Edited to fix an rd-like typo. lol )

[Edited 5/1/17 9:24am]


I read somewhere that one of the reasons PP was (mostly) shut down as a studio for other artists is because someone would have the studio booked and then Prince would decide he wanted to use it. I imagine though it was very expensive to maintain and he probably didn't have the cash flow to keep a wardrobe department and all the staff needed to run the studios and production facilities.
Paisley Park is in your heart
#PrinceForever 💜
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Reply #15 posted 05/01/17 9:57am

rogifan

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Genesia said:



rogifan said:


1Sasha said:

I think it simply cost so much money to maintain - money that wasn't rolling in the past 12 years or so after Musicology - that he may have decided to let some things slide in terms of building maintenance. We know that he operated the complex with a very small staff, and had eliminated security by 2016. He owned real estate other than PP which he kept, rather than selling to be able to pay to maintain PP at the highest level. Part of me thinks he just didn't care anymore.



I'm not following. How did the other real estate he owned pay for PP? How was he making money off that property?


It didn't - and he wasn't. Sasha is saying that Prince had a lot of cash tied up in real estate that he could have used for other things (like maintaining Paisley Park).

The thing is, once cash is spent, it's gone. That land continued to have value - so it's possible Prince thought of that as a hedge against the future.


Ah, got it. Didn't seem like he was much for the stock market so real estate was probably his investment of choice.
Paisley Park is in your heart
#PrinceForever 💜
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Reply #16 posted 05/01/17 9:59am

laytonian

1Sasha said:

I think it simply cost so much money to maintain - money that wasn't rolling in the past 12 years or so after Musicology - that he may have decided to let some things slide in terms of building maintenance. We know that he operated the complex with a very small staff, and had eliminated security by 2016. He owned real estate other than PP which he kept, rather than selling to be able to pay to maintain PP at the highest level. Part of me thinks he just didn't care anymore.


.
I think he cared.
He put a lot of money into redecorating the huge soundstage for the P&M shows. An acre of carpet, for one thing.
.
If there was deferred maintenance, it may have been because he didn't notice.
.
It's like my neighbor. When he was married to his wives, his home was kept up.
But he's been divorced for years and doesn't notice little things piling up.
I told him once that there was an issue in his roof and he hadn't noticed it was leaking into a spare bedroom.
I could tell from outside.
.
So I'm his substitute wife.
P needed a bossy big sister.
.
[Edited 5/1/17 10:00am]
We had fun, didn't we?
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Reply #17 posted 05/01/17 10:34am

1725topp

rdhull said:

On the famed New Years Eve 87 boot where Miles Davis is a guest star, Prince states at the beginning the ups and downs fiscally of the Park/Label. Seems like even THEN it was something to be reckoned with. I wonder how many tours and albums as one offs were completed just to keep that place running. And what his music and such would have been like sans having the Park as something that needed continual attention to keep it afloat.

There is something to be said (yeah? what?) about travelling to other studios and the ambiance of the city that studio is n, making do with what's available and not. Having everything there at your whim, like PP, did it influence the music? Anyone ever work from home for a spell? Theres a difference in your work practive when you have all day, in your own home, draws, hair uncombed etc.

Was PP an albatross around his neck or was it a blessing? both?

*

Being completely subjective in my answer, as it relates to working in one's personal space or in an "office" or "official work" space, I think this has more to do with one's personality. As a poet and short story writer, I'm more productive at home. I don't like writing at the coffee shop, the park, the mall, on the airplane, or any of those places. And, as a teacher, I even like grading papers at home. When I'm grading papers on campus, there are, of course, students who want to conference and even other faculty who just like to stick their heads in my office door just for the hell of it. But, at home, I'm completely alone to think, read, and write. Often, I must set a timer to remind myself when it's time for lunch and dinner. And, I know I shouldn't admit this, but I've even gotten irritated when my wife has arrived home from work, especially if I'm working on something in which I'm completely engrossed and she wants to "talk," God help me. (It takes everything in my power not to scream at the top of my lungs, “No, I’m not remotely interested in what your coworker said today about the new vacation policy!”) Additionally, the writer Ernest Gaines wrote all of his most noted works in the same room of the same house over a period of twenty years. In fact, when he moved from Louisiana to California, he found that he could not be as productive in his new space as he was in his old space. So, I guess it depends one one's particular personality. But, I, for one, love working alone at home.

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Reply #18 posted 05/01/17 10:44am

NorthC

I understand what you're saying, 1725, every creative person needs to be in their own "zone" when writing or drawing etc... But every creative person also needs to wake up in the "real" world every once in a while! Seems like your wife is doing exactly that. wink
[Edited 5/1/17 10:46am]
Don't ever lose your dreams.
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Reply #19 posted 05/01/17 10:50am

Se7en

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I can almost picture Prince prioritizing maintenance on PP. Maintain the public areas, studios and vault first . . . any other areas might've gotten low priority.

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Reply #20 posted 05/01/17 11:17am

chaocracy

Being at Paisley quite a bit before he passed away I was surprised how run down things were when you looked close. Old lamps from Target in the 90's on stage, ancient furniture and carpet, broken down video projectors, the egg just sitting empty and unfinished. Then after he died going in the atrium on the tour everything just looked very stuck early 90's and not updated. I just don't think he cared anymore or only cared about the music. Having to fix it up meant having to deal with people which he didn't want to do.

As far as going someplace to work vs working in your home the musician Nick Cave gets dressed for work each day in a suit and goes to what looks like a regular office to write music. he says if he did it from home he wouldn't get anything done and it forces you to work going somewhere. Maybe walking down to the studio was that for Prince.

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Reply #21 posted 05/01/17 11:37am

1725topp

NorthC said:

I understand what you're saying, 1725, every creative person needs to be in their own "zone" when writing or drawing etc... But every creative person also needs to wake up in the "real" world every once in a while! Seems like your wife is doing exactly that. wink [Edited 5/1/17 10:46am]

*

NorthC, you are correct about awaking in the "real" world every once in a while. That's why I make my snide remarks to my wife "in my head" because if I made those comments aloud I know that she's more than capable of showing me the "real" world.

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Reply #22 posted 05/01/17 11:37am

1725topp

oops. double post. My bad.

[Edited 5/1/17 11:38am]

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Reply #23 posted 05/01/17 11:55am

Se7en

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chaocracy said:

Being at Paisley quite a bit before he passed away I was surprised how run down things were when you looked close. Old lamps from Target in the 90's on stage, ancient furniture and carpet, broken down video projectors, the egg just sitting empty and unfinished. Then after he died going in the atrium on the tour everything just looked very stuck early 90's and not updated. I just don't think he cared anymore or only cared about the music. Having to fix it up meant having to deal with people which he didn't want to do.

As far as going someplace to work vs working in your home the musician Nick Cave gets dressed for work each day in a suit and goes to what looks like a regular office to write music. he says if he did it from home he wouldn't get anything done and it forces you to work going somewhere. Maybe walking down to the studio was that for Prince.


If you watch the documentary "Sound City" byt Dave Grohl, the studio complex itself was a complete piece of shit. I mean, people would literally piss in the corners (according to stories in the interviews).

Didn't matter what it looked like, or smelled like, just mattered what it sounded like . . . which according to everyone involved it had damn-near perfect acoustics for recording music.

Paisley Park is obviously much better off in shape than Sound City was at the end, and it seems like there will be updates now that it's being professionally maintained as a museum (new carpet, paint, repairs, etc).

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Reply #24 posted 05/01/17 12:26pm

laurarichardso
n

chaocracy said:

Being at Paisley quite a bit before he passed away I was surprised how run down things were when you looked close. Old lamps from Target in the 90's on stage, ancient furniture and carpet, broken down video projectors, the egg just sitting empty and unfinished. Then after he died going in the atrium on the tour everything just looked very stuck early 90's and not updated. I just don't think he cared anymore or only cared about the music. Having to fix it up meant having to deal with people which he didn't want to do.

As far as going someplace to work vs working in your home the musician Nick Cave gets dressed for work each day in a suit and goes to what looks like a regular office to write music. he says if he did it from home he wouldn't get anything done and it forces you to work going somewhere. Maybe walking down to the studio was that for Prince.

He was going to have to put money into it to turn it into a museum some renovations just to meet zoning rules. After all it was more about the acoustics and equiptment then living space.

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Reply #25 posted 05/01/17 12:48pm

tab32792

Idk. On one hand I think so but at the same time he was recording most music pre 87 in his basement lol also saying the music didn't move forward post 80's isn't a fair assessment at all. There was plenty of great music since. It was just different. That's personal opinion tho. Most artists are defined by album 3. By Batman he was pretty much defined. That's like 11 years of greatness for himself AND other people. So would you think he'd not be burnt out? Even still. He kept going even til the end.
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Reply #26 posted 05/01/17 12:50pm

tab32792

I do agree the music became "soft" for lack of a better phrase in the past 20. Too polished and super glossy. Aka safe.
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Reply #27 posted 05/01/17 12:52pm

namepeace

great question from one of the originals, rdhull.

But I say when all plusses and minuses are considered, no.

The arguments financial/logistical burdens and missed creative opportunities are valid.

But at the end of it all, Prince considered Paisley Park an extension of himself.

He leveraged his superstardom to have his own label and own complex for that reason. This sounds a bit sanguine, but he poured his resources into it because he'd poured himself into it.




Good night, sweet Prince | 7 June 1958 - 21 April 2016

Props will be withheld until the showing and proving has commenced. -- Aaron McGruder
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Reply #28 posted 05/01/17 12:59pm

chaocracy

Se7en said:

chaocracy said:

Being at Paisley quite a bit before he passed away I was surprised how run down things were when you looked close. Old lamps from Target in the 90's on stage, ancient furniture and carpet, broken down video projectors, the egg just sitting empty and unfinished. Then after he died going in the atrium on the tour everything just looked very stuck early 90's and not updated. I just don't think he cared anymore or only cared about the music. Having to fix it up meant having to deal with people which he didn't want to do.

As far as going someplace to work vs working in your home the musician Nick Cave gets dressed for work each day in a suit and goes to what looks like a regular office to write music. he says if he did it from home he wouldn't get anything done and it forces you to work going somewhere. Maybe walking down to the studio was that for Prince.


If you watch the documentary "Sound City" byt Dave Grohl, the studio complex itself was a complete piece of shit. I mean, people would literally piss in the corners (according to stories in the interviews).

Didn't matter what it looked like, or smelled like, just mattered what it sounded like . . . which according to everyone involved it had damn-near perfect acoustics for recording music.

Paisley Park is obviously much better off in shape than Sound City was at the end, and it seems like there will be updates now that it's being professionally maintained as a museum (new carpet, paint, repairs, etc).

I don't think that Sound City is a good comparission for someone who cared as much about as aesthetics as Prince did, everthing had to be beautiful including hotel rooms he was only staying in for a day or two. I guess he didn't care as much about that as he got older.

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Reply #29 posted 05/01/17 1:03pm

purplepoppy

A Prince must have his castle. My father was kind of like that. Stuff went unfinished because he had so many projects he kept starting. What he did accomplish was pretty magnificent. Nobody's perfect. It was just his way. Personally, I love working from home. In my jammies if I want to.

Brand new boogie without the hero.
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